Though the Lord removes the hedge of his protection

Job Sees The Light - Third in a series

Job 2:1-3 Hover over this Bible passage, and see its similarity to Job 1:6-8. However, in Job 2:3, the Lord makes plain that he was in fact the One who destroyed Job without cause.

Christians can trust God’s permissive will, because all things work together for good… Rom 8:28. The key to God’s description of Job is that he is his servant. He is one of God’s own, chosen in Christ “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Eph 1:4)

Job 2:4-6 Satan was infuriated. In his rage, he doubled the ante: God let's see if you can claim this man's heart after you make him ill and unattractive. Of course he is willing to hang onto his faith as long as he has his looks and health; he'd even exchange his children's lives in return for his own (Skin for skin). But strike his flesh and bones and then we'll see if he still maintains his integrity.

As before, he is accusing Job of shallowness and a faith based on wanting blessings, not the one who blesses. And once again, he is accusing God for protecting Job and thereby insuring his faith.

Isn’t it interesting that Satan cannot accuse Job without also accusing God? God’s relationship with his own is so close that the curses of one must fall on the other. It is this relationship that ensures the servant’s ultimate innocence and deliverance, for God has said, “How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” (Isa. 48:11) The honor and glory of God will never be blackened, therefore those who are his must reflect his glory and be brought to victory.

Job 2:7 Must the Lord remove his hedge from around Job to prove his delight in him is justified? No, God is not constrained to prove anything to anyone, but again, he has chosen to allow Satan to destroy Job knowing that persecution will do him good. God has not swallowed Satan’s bait, but he has gone fishing for Job’s heart.

Job 2:8-10 Even though a ruined man, Job was a good husband by New Testament standards. He was kind to her in her weak state, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Pet 3:7)

Job 2:11-13 Here are three men, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, whose names mean, respectively, God is dispenser, Son of contention, and Rough and hairy.* They have come, a trinity, with the best of intentions, but do their names betray what they will accomplish?

*Young's Analytical Concordance

Providential Grace

Remembrance and its opposite - Ninth in a series

We considered the concept of God's providence and his watch over our lives in the last post. The Lord gives us our daily bread, shelter, our friends, church, and so much else. He is with us. As we recall his loving care moment to moment and in our crises, we remember, too, our miserable behaviors. If we aren't careful we will end up crying over spilt milk rather than praising the Lord for his faithfulness to us.

Yet for those who have walked with God for a time, we will observe that God has established us in the Faith in spite of ourselves. How did this come about? This deserves a careful answer.

Wise men nearly four centuries ago met together, prayed and wrote a "confession" that many churches still look to as a statement of faith. As noted in the previous post, this is where we find the concept of God's works of providence as a way of explaining the Lord's control over all things.

The divines who wrote the Westminster Confession based their insights upon Scripture proofs, and looked to Christians of previous generations who had studied, discussed and continually read the Bible for enlightenment and help.

A succinct paragraph that sums up their understanding of how man is saved follows:

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process —election, redemption, regeneration— is the work of God and is by grace alone.

Therefore, the greatest work that we remember and thank God for is our salvation. We do not thank ourselves for that, but him. By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any of us should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

When we sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” we know our decision was divinely enabled and ordained; nevertheless actively deciding and making a firm commitment is required and must be carefully maintained over many trials and tests that are supplied to strengthen us.

It is the one who perseveres to the end who will be saved. If you persevere, then you are chosen.

We are to help each other to exercise our free will to serve Christ. The overcomer will live eternally (Rev 2:7, 11), receive rewards from Christ (Rev 2:17), reign with him (Rev 2:26); his name will be confessed to God by Christ (Rev 3:5), and much more (Rev 3:12, 21).